Man charged with pointing laser into airliner cockpit, Los Angeles cops say

Story highlights

  • Airline pilot reported a "powerful green laser light" pointed into his cockpit, authorities say
  • Officers searching in a small plane say the light was pointed into their cockpit, too

(CNN)A man was arrested in Los Angeles after he pointed a "powerful green laser light" into the cockpit of a commercial airliner -- and then did the same thing to a police plane searching for the offending light, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a press release posted Friday on its Facebook page.

A commercial pilot told authorities his cockpit was illuminated by a light several times Thursday night while flying over the Lancaster area, the sheriff's office said. That created a danger because the pilot's vision was temporarily impaired.
The sheriff's office was notified and sent up a fixed-wing airplane to search for the light, the release said.
The officers found it and "almost immediately, the cockpit of the ... airplane was illuminated several times with the powerful light, causing distraction and temporary visual impairment to the pilot," the press release said.
The pilot told deputies on the ground where to search. They arrested a 27-year-old man at his home in Lancaster on charges of discharging a laser at an aircraft, the sheriff's office said. He was jailed on $25,000 bail.
Deputies also found a high-powered laser pointing device at the scene, the sheriff's office said.
Laser lights are a national problem. In August, 12 pilots flying over New Jersey reported laser lights pointed into their cockpits.